WINTER SPRINGS, Fla. - A Seminole County man faces animal cruelty charges in connection with the shooting deaths of an emu and a pregnant cow.
This week, deputies arrested Zachary Dallas, 20, of Winter Springs.
The two shootings happened in Chuluota off Brumley Road and Lake Mills Road in late December and early January, but several other animals were also found shot to death in that area.
Jim Gray lives right across the street from the emu pasture. He heard the gunshots, then saw the emu.
"Oh, it was definitely suffering," said Gray. "My son actually jumped over the fence and tried to nurture it."
Deputies said the 4-year-old emu's knee was blown apart. The owner was forced to put it down to end its suffering.
Clayton Beasley found two of his cows dead in his pasture.
"The one I feel the worst about was the cow that was pregnant because she was shot through the stomach, which was a slow, agonizing death," said Beasley.
In all, three cows were found dead. Underneath some power poles, Beasley found a dead bald eagle with a gunshot wound. Up the street, two Sandhill cranes were also found shot dead.
No one answered when Local 6 knocked at Dallas' home in Winter Springs. Police tracked him down after two witnesses, including Gray, spotted his car and wrote down the tag.
"It's crazy," said Gray. "Why take an innocent animal's life just because you're out basically target practicing."
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